Sir James MacMillan CBE announces 2017 Cumnock Tryst Festival programme

Images: Sir James MacMillan CBE founder and Artistic Director of The Cumnock Tryst  and Scottish Ensemble, Artists in Residence at the 2017 festival

  •  Acclaimed Scottish Ensemble are Artists in Residence
  • Soloists include Colin Currie (percussion), Sean Shibe (guitar) and Andrew McTaggart (baritone)
  • World Premieres of commissions from David Maric, Jay Capperauld and Michael Murray
  • ENO Artistic Director, Martyn Brabbins, returns to his musical roots conducting the Dalmellington Band, with the Wallace Collection
  • World famous Westminster Cathedral Choir perform MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross
  • Partnership with Drake Music Scotland continues
  • Festival Club (Centrestage Gospel and Soul Choir, and Granny Green), Cumnock Hour (Paul MacAlindin and James Knox), Ian Peaston and Gnoss appear in the Dumfries Arms as historic venue marks its 300th anniversary
  • Festival will take place across Cumnock, New Cumnock and Auchinleck and at Dumfries House between 28 Sept and 1 October 2017

Sir James MacMillan CBE announced the programme for 2017 Cumnock Tryst at a special event in the Dumfries Arms tonight, 16 May 2017. The launch event also featured a performance by Folk trio, Kilda, presented in partnership with Live Music Now Scotland. The fourth annual Cumnock Tryst Festival will take place in venues across Cumnock, New Cumnock and Auchinleck, and in Dumfries House between 28 September and 1 October 2017.

 

“The Cumnock Tryst is now four years old and we are delighted to bring another exciting Festival of great music to East Ayrshire,” says Sir James. “We have a wonderful array of artists joining us this year in a programme that showcases the very best in performance by professional, amateur and young musicians, and gives an important platform to local talent alongside internationally renowned soloists and ensembles.”

“I am delighted to announce that our Artists in Residence this year are the wonderful Scottish Ensemble. They will launch the Festival on the Thursday night and be involved every day in one thing or another as well as in our on-going education programme.”

“From the beginning we have been committed to ensuring the widest possible access to The Cumnock Tryst festival with special discounts for under 26s and local residents, and a range of free events such as the Festival Club,” adds Sir James. “This year we will be extending this commitment to include a new opportunity offering up to two free tickets for under 16s with every full price ticket purchased. This offer will be available for all Festival events.”

"We were thrilled to be invited to be the official Artists in Residence at this year’s Cumnock Tryst, adds Scottish Ensemble Artistic Director, Jonathan Morton. “The SE musicians and I are already looking forward to spending four days at the Festival performing across a wide range of events. A particular highlight has been working on our first co-commission together, a piece by composer and pianist Dave Maric, which we’re excited to be performing on the opening night alongside percussionist Colin Currie.”

Festival Patron, Nicola Benedetti added: “Congratulations to Sir James and his wonderful team at The Cumnock Tryst for all the success of the Festival so far, and for producing a wonderful programme for the fourth Tryst. I’m so happy to be associated with this great success story, and I know that the audiences are in for lots of treats this year.” 

 

Special commissions for special soloists

Images: Colin Currie, who will be a soloist in the World Premiere of a new work by Dave Maric, and Sean Shibe, who will give the World Premiere of a Guitar Concerto by Michael Murray

The 2017 Festival features a number of works commissioned by and for The Cumnock Tryst. The opening concert on the evening of Thursday 28 September in Cumnock Town Hall will bring together the acclaimed Scottish Ensemble with the renowned percussionist Colin Currie in a performance of a new work co-commissioned from David Maric by The Cumnock Tryst and Scottish Ensemble. Maric will also perform in the piece. Meanwhile, as part of a performance by the Dalmellington Band and The Wallace Collection on the afternoon of Saturday 30 September a new piece by rising star, Jay Capperauld, will also receive its World Premiere. This piece, As Above, So Below, was commissioned by John Wallace, who will perform it as a member of the Wallace Collection.

Continuing Sir James’ commitment to support local talent, there will be the first performance of a special commission from Auchinleck-based composer, Michael Murray. Murray is the third local composer to be championed by Sir James following Jay Capperauld in 2015 and Scott Lygate last year. Murray has written a concerto which will be performed by the talented young guitarist, Sean Shibe.

Colin Currie will also give a solo performance on the evening of Friday 29 September. This concert will be The Cumnock Tryst’s first event in New Cumnock, with the performance being staged in the recently refurbished New Cumnock Town Hall.

“We have a wonderful array of soloists joining us this year including the world-renowned percussionist Colin Currie and the astonishing young guitarist Sean Shibe, both of whom will be giving World Premieres of works that have been commissioned for them. We are delighted to have co-commissioned the new work by Dave Maric with our artists in residence, Scottish Ensemble, and look forward to hearing them join forces with Colin Currie and Dave Maric himself for the first ever performance of this piece ,” says Sir James MacMillan.

“The Cumnock Tryst is committed to supporting and nurturing local talent, giving performers a platform alongside world famous artists,” he adds. “After commissions from Jay Capperauld in 2015 and Scott Lygate last year I am particularly pleased to announce that a commission from Auchinleck’s Michael Murray will be premiered in the 2017 Cumnock Tryst. It is many years since I first encountered Michael’s music and it is a great pleasure to be able to showcase work by this talented composer in a performance by Scottish Ensemble with Sean Shibe.”

Brass and Choral Music at heart of the festival

Images: Martyn Brabbins, who returns to his musical roots conducting the Dalmellington Band, and Eamonn Dougan with the Festival Chorus. Dougan will once again conduct the Festival Chorus concert at the 2017 Cumnock Tryst .

From the beginning the Cumnock Tryst Festival has featured choral and brass music, both of which have particular resonances in the former mining town. Ayrshire’s Dalmellington Band make a welcome return to the Tryst performing with the virtuoso Wallace Collection in the Old Cumnock Church at 2pm on Saturday 30 September. The concert will see Martyn Brabbins, ENO Artistic Director, return to his musical roots – Brabbins began his musical life as a trombone and euphonium player with the Towcester Studio Brass Band – not only conducting, but also writing music for brass band.

The following two concerts on the Saturday will showcase choral music. At 4pm in Auchinleck Parish Church The Cumnock Tryst Festival Chorus will give a performance of Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs alongside works by Maxwell Davies, Finzi, Warlock and Britten, once again under the baton of Eamonn Dougan. The Chorus will be joined in the Mozart by a quartet of young soloists from Genesis Sixteen and in the Vaughan Williams by Scottish baritone, Andrew McTaggart. Organist for the performance will be one the UK’s leading concert organists, Kevin Bowyer.

The evening concert will be undoubtedly one of the highlights of the 2017 Festival as Scottish Ensemble is joined by the celebrated Westminster Cathedral Choir in a performance of Sir James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross conducted by the composer himself. The concert will take place in St John’s Church, Cumnock.

“I am particularly pleased to welcome Martyn Brabbins to Cumnock. Now ENO Artistic Director, Martyn, like me, began his musical career as a brass band player,” says Sir James. “We are looking forward to the concert in which he will not only conduct the Dalmellington Band, but will premiere pieces he has written specially for brass band.”

The Festival Chorus is such an integral part of our project in both the musical and social sense, andwe have big plans going forward,” he adds. “Genesis Sixteen, the training academy of The Sixteen, are also now a firm feature of the Festival. We are especially pleased to have four of the young singers with us this year and that Eamonn Dougan will once again conduct our Festival Chorus concert.”

 “I have written a number of works for the incredible choir of Westminster Cathedral, and I am delighted to welcome them to my old church of St John’s, where I played the organas a teenager. They sing my Seven Last Words beautifully and they will be joined by the string ensemble for whom I wrote the piece.”

 “I am also pleased to announce tonight that this year we will be bringing back one of the popular events from the inaugural Festival. We will have a Come and Sing day on Saturday 17 June which will be led by our chorus master, Andrew McTaggart. Everyone is invited to come along and join us for a day of classical and contemporary repertoire in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. There will also be a short informal sharing at a concert for friends and family.  In addition and new for this year we are hosting a day especially for  

Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Dumfries Arms

Images: Ian Peaston and Granny Green will be among the performers at the Dumfries Arms as The Cumnock Tryst helps the historic hotel celebrate its 300th anniversary

The historic Dumfries Arms Hotel has been a key venue for The Cumnock Tryst since its inception. This year marks the hotel’s 300th anniversary, and The Tryst will join the celebrations with a range of events, including the Festival Club.

On Friday 29 September at 5pm The Cumnock Hour will bring together Paul MacAlindin with James Knox of the Boswell Book Festival to explore the story of the National Youth Orchestraof Iraq. A beacon of hope and achievement, the young musicians and their tutors made bridges across ethnic divisions and made great music in the most trying and tragic of circumstances. The “in conversation” is part of a collaboration between two leading Ayrshire festivals, The Cumnock Tryst and the Boswell Book Festival.

At 9pm on Friday 29 September, Ian Peaston, the Cumnock-born violinist who wowed the audience in the inaugural festival, will make a welcome return.

On Saturday 30 September at 10am, the talented Royal Conservatoire of Scotland traditional music group, Gnoss, will give a Coffee and Cake Concert

The Cumnock Tryst Festival Club, the relaxed late evening event, this year features Centrestage Gospel and Soul Choir making their Cumnock Tryst debut on Thursday 28 September. On Saturday night, 30 September Granny Green, the trio of talented musicians, who helped launch the 2016 Festival with such elan, will once again showcase their quirky sound world created on trumpet, tuba and accordion.

“From the beginning the Dumfries Arms Hotel has been an important venue for the Tryst, not least as the home of our popular Festival Club,” says Sir James. “We are delighted to help the historic venue celebrate its 300th anniversary with this diverse programme of performances and events, including our first collaboration with the Boswell Book Festival.”

Third year of partnership with Drake Music Scotland

Images: Matilda Brown of Drake Music Scotland and pupils from Hillside School performing at The Cumnock Tryst in 2016

Education and outreach are central to The Cumnock Tryst with the Friday concert in Cumnock Academy established as an emotional highpoint of the Festival. Drake Music Scotland will once again join us to create new work with pupils from Hillside School, whose music-making millions saw on BBC network news last year. Drake Music Scotland will also work with adults with special educational needs from the Riverside Centre, the second year that this group will have taken part in The Tryst. The outcome of these projects will form two movements of “a symphony” called Kaleidoscope, which will be premiered on Friday 29 September at Cumnock Academy. The other two movements will be created by string players from Greenmill Primary School and students from Auchinleck Academy working with Sir James MacMillan. Also taking part in the workshops and performance will be musicians from Scottish Ensemble and percussionist Colin Currie.

“A special chemistry happens when Drake Music Scotland get together with children and adults with special needs at The Cumnock festival,” says Sir James MacMillan. “The music created is incredibly rich and complex, and the performers play at the top of their game alongside professional musicians making something truly wonderful.

“This year we wanted to create a piece that would bring together pupils and adults with special needs and the young performers from Greenmill Primary and Auchinleck Academy in one fully integrated work, which demonstrates tangibly that anyone can compose and make music.”

Festival Finale

The 2017 Festival will once again end in the glorious setting of Dumfries House. There will be three promenade concerts featuring three very different performances on Sunday 1 October. The first part of the event will feature guitarist Sean Shibe playing JS Bach’s Lute Suite No 4 in E in the Tapestry Room. This will be followed by The Wallace Collection quintet playing Jim Parker’s Golden Section in the Entrance Hall, and finally members of Scottish Ensemble will perform works by Tabakova and Mozart in The Great Steward’s Dining Room.

“Dumfries House is a stunning estate, and the 18th-Century house is a wonderful setting for a feast of music,” says Sir James. “It is always a great pleasure to present events against this stunning backdrop, and this year we have three contrasting performances taking the audience on both a physical and musical journey.”

Ticket and Booking Information

Patrons Tickets and Festival Passes for the 2017 Cumnock Tryst Festival go on sale on Wednesday 17 May. Friends booking opens on Tuesday 30 May with general public booking opening on Monday 12 June.

Tickets will be available via the Box Office at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The Box Office is open Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm; Saturday hours vary.

Most major credit and debit cards accepted and cheques, made payable to ‘Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.’ There is a 50p charge per transaction on all card payments. Tickets can be posted to you for 75p. Full terms and conditions are available at the Box Office and online.

Any remaining tickets will be available on the door at the venue, 45 minutes before each event. Seating is unreserved in all venues and areas. Doors open 30 minutes before each event. The Box Office will operate an advance waiting list for sold out concerts.

For further information on The Cumnock Tryst visit: www.thecumnocktryst.com

Follow the festival on Facebook and on Twitter @TheCumnockTryst

The 2017 Cumnock Tryst festival has been made possible with generous support from Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, The Boswell Book Festival, Creative Scotland (Lottery), Cumnock and Doon Valley Minerals Trust, The Dumfries Arms Hotel, East Ayrshire Council, The Genesis Foundation, The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust, The William Grant Foundation, The Hinrichsen Trust, The Hillside Quarry Group, The Hunter Foundation, the  University of the West of Scotland, and our anonymous supporters, our Festival Friends and Patrons.

The Cumnock Tryst is supported by PRS for Music Foundation.

Ends

Further information, interviews and images contact:

Lesley Booth                        0779 941 4474            lesley@newcenturypr.com

 

Notes for Editors

 The Cumnock Tryst was founded by composer Sir James MacMillan in 2014. The Festival’s name, The Cumnock Tryst, was inspired by a piece of music James MacMillan wrote in the 1980s when he was still living in Ayrshire. This was a setting of William Soutar’s love poem, The Tryst. Tryst is an old Scots word which means a meeting place, or a romantic rendezvous. The town of Cumnock itself ties into this sense of coming together as its Gaelic name, comunn achadh, means place of the confluence, as the town sits where the Glaisnock River and the Lugar Water meet. For four packed days and nights The Cumnock Tryst is a meeting place for music-lovers.

 Sir James MacMillan CBE is the pre-eminent Scottish composer of his generation. He first attracted attention with the acclaimed BBC Proms premiere of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie (1990). His percussion concerto Veni, Veni Emmanuel (1992) has received close to 500 performances worldwide by orchestras including London Symphony Orchestra, New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and Cleveland Orchestra. Other major works include the cantata Seven Last Words from the Cross (1993), Quickening (1998) for soloists, children's choir, mixed choir and orchestra, the operas Inès de Castro (2001) and The Sacrifice (2005-06), and St John Passion (2007).

He was featured composer at Edinburgh Festival (1993), Southbank Centre (1997), BBC’s Barbican Composer Weekend (2005) and Grafenegg Festival (2012). His interpreters include soloists Evelyn Glennie, Colin Currie, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Vadim Repin, conductors Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Marin Alsop and Donald Runnicles, and choreographer Christopher Wheeldon. His recordings can be found on BMG/RCA Red Seal, BIS, Chandos, Naxos, Hyperion, Coro, Linn and Challenge Classics.

Recent highlights include premieres of MacMillan’s St Luke Passion, A European Requiem, Stabat Mater for The Sixteen and a Trombone Concerto for Jörgen van Rijen with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

2017 Cumnock Tryst Festival Listings

 

Thursday 28 September at 7pm

Cumnock Town Hall, 62 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1BY

Scottish Ensemble with Colin Currie and Dave Maric

The 2017 Cumnock Tryst Festival opens with a performance by Artists in Residence, Scottish Ensemble, together with one of the world’s leading percussionists, Colin Currie. A highlight of the programme will be the World Premiere of a new work co-commissioned by the Cumnock Tryst and Scottish Ensemble from Dave Maric, who will also take part in the performance.

£20 / £15 (concessions)

 

Thursday 28 September at 9.30pm

Dumfries Arms Hotel, 54 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1BY

Festival Club: Centrestage Gospel and Soul Choir

Making their debut at the Cumnock Tryst Festival this year are Centrestage Gospel and Soul Choir . The choir, which is part of Kilmarnock’s Centrestage, comprises individuals from all walks of life and embodies a true community spirit.

Free

 

Friday 29 September at 12.30pm

Cumnock Academy, Ayr Road, KA18 1EH

Kaleidoscope

The emotional highlight of The Cumnock Tryst Festival, the Cumnock Academy concert will this year bring together pupils from Hillside School, Greenmills Primary School and Auchinleck Academy with adults from the Riverside Centre. Working with Drake Music Scotland, musicians of Scottish Ensemble, Colin Currie and Sir James MacMillan the four groups will each create a movement of a new “symphony” called Kaleidoscope.

Free

Friday 29 September at 4.30pm

Dumfries Arms Hotel, 54 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1BY

The Cumnock Hour

An “in conversation” between James Knox, Director of the Boswell Book Festival, and Paul McAlindin, founder of the National Youth Orchestraof Iraq. A beacon of hope and achievement, the young musicians and their tutors made bridges across their own divisions and made great music in the most trying and tragic of circumstances.

£5

Friday 29 September at 7pm

New Cumnock Town Hall, 31-33 Castle, New Cumnock

Colin Currie Solo Recital

A dynamic and adventurous soloist, Colin Currie has an unrivalled commitment to commissioning and creating new music. In this solo recital he will bring some of the most astonishing modern percussion repertoire to Ayrshire.

£18 / £13 (concessions)

Friday 29 September at 9.30pm

Dumfries Arms Hotel, 54 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1BY

Ian Peaston: Dumfries Arms 300th Anniversary Concert

Marking the 300th birthday of the historic Dumfries Arms, virtuoso violinist, Ian Peaston, makes a welcome return to The Cumnock Tryst Festival.

£12 / £8 (concessions)

 

Saturday 30 September at 10.30am

Dumfries Arms Hotel, 54 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1BY

Gnoss, RCS Traditional Musicians. Coffee and Cake Concert

The Cumnock Tryst Festival’s contribution to the Dumfries Arms 300th birthday celebrations continues with this coffee and cake concert given by Gnoss - an award-winning four-piece trad band, whose members are currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

£5 (including coffee and cake).  FREE for Friends of The Cumnock Tryst,

 

Saturday 30 September at 2pm

Cumnock Old Church, The Square, KA18 1DB

Dalmellington Band/The Wallace Collection, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)

Artistic Director of ENO, Martyn Brabbins, returns to his musical roots as a brass band player to conduct a concert featuring the Dalmellington Brass Band and The Wallace Collection. The programme includes pieces written by Brabbins for brass band and the World Premiere of Jay Capperauld’s As Above, So Below commissioned by John Wallace.

£15 / £10 (concessions)

 

Saturday 30 September at 4.45pm

Auchinleck Parish Church, Church Hill, Auchinleck, KA18 2AE

Festival Chorus concert: Andrew McTaggart (bartione), Eamonn Dougan (conductor) Kevin Bowyer (organ)

The Cumnock Tryst Festival Chorus returns for a concert featuring Mozart’s Coronation Mass and Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs under the baton of Eamonn Dougan. Soloists in the Mozart will be a quartet of talented singers from Genesis Sixteen, with Andrew MacTaggart making his festival debut as a soloist in the Vaughan Williams. Keyboard accompaniment will be by one of the UK’s greatest concert organists, Kevin Bowyer

£15 / £10 (concessions)

 

Saturday 30 September at 7.30pm

St John’s Church, 92 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1JU

Scottish Ensemble, Westminster Cathedral Choir, Sir James MacMillan (conductor),

Sean Shibe (guitar)

A highlight of the 2017 Festival will be a performance of Sir James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross with Westminster Cathedral Choir and Scottish Ensemble, the string group for whom the work was originally written. Also featuring in the concert is the World Premiere of a new guitar concerto commissioned specially by the Festival from Auchinleck-based composer, Michael Murray, which will be performed by Sean Shibe.

£22 / £16 (concessions)

 

Saturday 30 September at 10pm

Dumfries Arms Hotel, 54 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1BY

Festival Club: Granny Green

The trio of talented musicians who helped launch the 2016 Festival with such elan will once again showcase their quirky sound world created on trumpet, tuba and accordion.

Free

 

Sunday 1 October at 9.30am

St John’s Church Hall, 92 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1JU

Festival Mass Workshop - all welcome

 

Sunday 1 October at 11am

St John’s Church, 92 Glaisnock Street, KA18 1JU

Festival Mass - all welcome

The annual Cumnock Tryst Festival Sunday Service this year comes from St John’s Church, Cumnock. Music by Westminster Cathedral Choir. Celebrant, Fr Guy Nicholls, director of The Blessed John Henry Newman Institute for Liturgical Music

 

Sunday 1 October at 2.30pm, 5pm

Dumfries House, Cumnock, KA18 2NJ

Festival Finale Promenade Concert

The 2017 Festival culminates in promenade concerts in the fabulous setting of Dumfries House. Three contrasting performances by Sean Shibe, The Wallace Collection Quintet and members of Scottish Ensemble will take the audience on both a physical and musical journey.

£25 / £15 (concessions)

 

Sunday 1 October at 7.30pm

Dumfries House, Cumnock, KA18 2NJ

Festival Finale Promenade Concert

The 2017 Festival culminates in promenade concerts in the fabulous setting of Dumfries House. Three contrasting performances by Sean Shibe, The Wallace Collection Quintet and members of Scottish Ensemble will take the audience on both a physical and musical journey. This final event also includes a post concert champagne reception.

£50 / £40 (concessions)